The Groovy Garden Gazette

~from the English Gardener Team

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L. M. Montgomery, Author
Anne of Green Gables

Temperatures are dropping, the tree’s leaves are changing color and beginning to fall, and plants are prepping for the “big freeze” of Winter. Fall Clean-ups and Garden-closings will start soon as we keep an eye on Mother Nature.  

Many Thanks!

The English Gardener Team

Garden Guidance

The Ideal Time to Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs? Right Now!

In northern climates like ours, flowering bulbs are best planted from late September to mid-October. This gives them ample time to grow roots before the ground freezes. Ideally, plant your bulbs as soon as possible after you purchase them. If they can’t be planted right away, store them in a dry area at around 60°F-65°F. (Note: Temperatures above 70°F may damage the flower buds.) A good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs at a depth three times the width of the bulb; spacing will vary based on the variety. After planting, use a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water thoroughly.

In general, most plants will do better when planted in the fall as their roots become established. You may not see much top growth emerge from the plants, but don’t worry, this is normal. The energy from the plant will instead be spent growing and strengthening the root system.

Hardscape Happenings

Paver Joint Maintenance

Joint material between pavers is critically important, but can break down over time. Without adequate joint material, pavers are prone to shifting and other movement, and may be more susceptible to displacement following the frequent freeze and thaw cycles our harsh winters often bring. Joint materials also allow for proper drainage by channeling runoff, and serve to minimize insect and weed infestation between paver surfaces.

If paver joints are uneven or have eroded, it’s time for replacement. When installing new joint material, follow all manufacturer specifications and industry standards, i.e., joint sand should be between 1/8” to 1/4” below the edge of the paver to help channel water, and to prevent the material from being brushed out during routine cleaning. Once the joint material has dried, completely remove any excess material from the paver surface to prevent staining or scuffing.

Featured Friends and Family

Jim and Linda Howard

Jim and Linda Howard have been involved with the English Gardener for many years. They began their relationship with EG as customers, when they enlisted us to design and create the splendid gardens surrounding their former Snyder home (see photos below). Those gardens—featured in several national publications, including BH&G’s Garden Ideas and Garden Gate Magazine—were personally tended to and nurtured by Linda. The Howards’ lovely former property is our featured garden of the month. Take a look at the pictures below and see the inspirational progression of their garden!

The Howards have since retired and moved from their Snyder home, but have continued their relationship with the English Gardener by helping with the business itself. Linda lends a hand by designing exquisite planters for several of our clients, while Jim shares his writing skills during the production of our newsletter. Thank you, Linda and Jim, for your support throughout the years.



Groovy Garden Profile

Front Garden Transformation

Beginning in 2007, a design evolved, beginning with the removal of several hazardous trees and ending with a remarkable front garden transformation. The hardscape choices complemented the home’s unique architecture, with flagstone steps echoing the unusual roof style, and an arbor that mimicked the eyebrow windows. Check out the photos of garden’s transformation and maturity through the years.

Here’s a Little Autumn Creativity!

Below is a poem written by our friend Jim Howard, who drew inspiration from WNY’s unparalleled autumn weather—and the spectacular flora that accompanies it!


Autumn’s Queen


My crocuses (or should I say)

My croci really make my day.

And though they keep my neighbors cryin’

I even dig the dandelion!


I love the fragrant hyacinth;

It makes me think of pepperminth.

I also like the narcissus;

It brings me such catharsissus.


An orchid? Lots of work, but still

It so improves my window sill!

A fly trap? I prefer it more

To bugs that sneak in through my door.


And marigold’s a joy, I think;

Olfactorily, though, they stink!

That’s why I so enjoy a rose

That sends its essence up my nose.


But none of these can quite compare,

Can make me gawk, can make me stare,

Can narrow my attention span

The same as Autumn’s flower can!


My passion is devotional!

It makes me wax promotional!

But why do mums create such zeal

And make me feel the way I feel?


While I’ll admit, they have no scent

That’s hardly an impediment.

It’s how they look that matters most

That keeps my eyeballs so engrossed.


A rose is red, a violet, blue.

A peony’s only pink, it’s true.

And lily’s whiteness gives me chills

But mums bring technicolor thrills!


Their hues fulfill my every wish.

They’re purple, pink, and orange(ish)

Bright yellow, white, or daisy-like…

They make me go all crazy-like!


So when it comes to floral stuff

There’s only one that’s good enough.

My heart cries out, “Chrysanthemum!”

(It’s why I wrote this anthemum.)

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